Monday, December 15, 2014

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese

I pinned this recipe a while ago from House of Yumm and my daughter Elisa really wanted it for dinner tonight. I gotta say, it was easy and really good. We used ham from the deli instead of Canadian Bacon.

Hawaiian Grilled Cheese
2 slices of bread
3 slices of pineapple, fresh or canned
3 slices canadian bacon
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Butter
Oregano and parsley
 
Butter one side of each slice of bread and sprinkle with parsley and oregano to taste
On non buttered side of bread place the shredded cheese, then the canadian bacon, pineapple, and top with the other slice of bread, buttered side facing up.
Cook sandwich on stove top on a griddle or frying pan. Once bread is toasted on one side flip the sandwich to toast the other side. Cook on a low heat to allow the cheese to melt while the bread is toasting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

Usually December is cold and snowy in Utah, making it good weather for warm soup, but this year we've had it really warm, and totally, in my opinion great. But I still made some warm soup with homemade breadsticks today and enjoyed it.

This is an Olive Garden copycat recipe of a soup that I only tried one spoonful of one time so I can't really compare it very well. I like it a lot, but will put a little less thyme in it next time. I didn't actually measure it out today. I found the recipe at CopyKat Recipes.

Olive Garden Chicken Gnocchi Soup

4 T. butter
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. finely diced onion
1/2 c. finely diced celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. flour
1 quart half-and-half
2 (14-oz.) cans chicken broth
Salt
1/2 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried parsley flakes
1/4 t. ground nutmeg (optional)
1 c. finely shredded carrots
1 c. coarsely chopped fresh spinach leaves
1 c. diced cooked chicken breast (you can use a rotisserie chicken)
1 (16-oz./500 g.) package ready-to-use gnocchi
 
Melt the butter into the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion becomes translucent. Whisk in the flour and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the half-and-half. Simmer until thickened. Whisk in the chicken broth. Simmer until thickened again. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, the thyme, parsley, nutmeg (if using), carrots, spinach, chicken, and gnocchi. Simmer until the soup is heated through. Before serving, season with additional salt, if necessary.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving Letter

I had a good time at my parents' house for Thanksgiving with lots of family. I even got a wonderful surprise. My son Alex told me that he wouldn't be able to write on Thanksgiving since they had a special day planned with humanitarian service at the MTC. But they finished early and he was able to send an email after all. I always love his letters, but I cried more with this one since it was unexpected. Still no photos from him so I'm using one of him this summer in Canada.

To Everyone:
Another week gone by, and another time to reflect on everything I've done and pick from it what I want to share with all of you.

This week I had the opportunity, along with 600+ others, to sing to two of the Twelve apostles. One of the songs we sang was "Nearer My God to Thee" and the other was "Come thou Fount" on Tuesday and Thursday Respectively. Every week I have the opportunity to sing a new song and learn new stories, and every week my appreciation for music grows more.... I learned so much about these two songs and the truths they contain. If you ever have a day of sadness, a day of weakness, a day of pain, a day of loneliness, listen to Hymns and pay attention to the words that are said; the song of the righteous is a prayer unto God, and that includes listening to songs of righteousness. There is so much importance in music, it matters more than most realize.

Anyway, the first Apostle that came was Elder Oaks, and he came on Tuesday. It was an amazing talk and I learned a lot from the promptings of the Spirit during it. I don't, however, have much to say pertaining to his talk right now, mostly because the other talk was given more recently and I feel more impressed to share about the Thanksgiving devotional.

For this year's Thanksgiving devotional, Brother Eagett (spelled to some extent like that), the choir director, decided that a good song to sing for Thanksgiving was "Come Thou Fount." This song has never before in the history of the MTC been sung in the choir, or at least this particular arrangement, because it's just too hard. Or so it was said. But we practiced after the Tuesday night devotional, and this morning and were able to pull off the song at a General Conference performance level after only those two days. Nothing is impossible when you dedicate it to God.

I'm running out of time, so I'll have to write more about the talk later I guess. It was nice to talk to you all again and hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
With all my love,
Elder

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sneak Peek

Here's a peek of what I've been up to lately. More info to come.......





Friday, November 21, 2014

We Don't Want a Smelly Elder

My son didn't get to write a letter "To Everyone" this week because he ran out of time. In his letter to me he mentioned that along with singing in the choir, he auditioned to sing the tenor part of some carols at a surprise party. There are only 2 people chosen for each singing part and I'd imagine there are some elders who have been in choir in school or even had vocal coaches. He is brave and loves music so I'm sure he did well even without all of that vocal experience.

He won't get to send me or anyone a letter next week since his p-day is Thursdays and the MTC is having a special Thanksgiving day planned for them, including humanitarian service. Hopefully he'll still get to do his laundry. Hehe I will really miss hearing from him.

I recently learned from a Facebook group of Sendai missionary moms that Japan does not have effective deodorant and their toothpaste is different than what we're used to, so I'll be sending him an exciting Thanksgiving package of those two, along with some other things. Some moms have sent 10-15 sticks of deodorant. It gets very hot and humid in the summer so it's pretty important to have.



Alex did send his testimony to share with everyone so I'll end with that.

"I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he suffered and died for each of us. I know that through him we can be forgiven of our mistakes and our sins, because I have felt of his love and mercy personally. I know that God gave his Only Begotten Son for us, that we may return to live with Him again. God is our Loving Heavenly Father, and cares about us each individually and personally. I have no doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church on earth, once again restored--as it was in times of old--through his love for us. I know that God appeared to a 14 year old boy named Joseph Smith, and called him as a prophet for these latter days, and that through Joseph Smith much of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored. I know that the current leader of our Church, President Thomas S. Monson, is Joseph Smiths authorized successor and is also a prophet of God. I have chosen to serve a mission for His church--to a place that I myself did not chose--to share this message of love, joy, happiness and peace to the people of Japan, that they too may feel our Father's love, that they may be able to be freed of guilt and shame from past mistakes through the blood of Him who died to make it possible. I testify that what I say is true, that man and woman can come to know God, and that anyone can know of these truths if they sincerely pray to God in the name of Jesus Christ with an open mind and a willing heart. I testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, as an official representative of Him, and with all the love I can muster. Amen."